In order to be an effective manager in the work force today, one must have a very good understanding of the various ways in which people interact and communicate with one another. It is critical that good leaders display the ability to effectively communicate with their associates and subordinates as well as train and encourage others to demonstrate those same communication skills. By doing so, they will promote both a healthy and efficient work environment that everyone will be sure to enjoy.
The first challenge in effectively communicating with today’s workforce is diversity. The work force today is more diverse than ever and is rapidly becoming even more diversified as time passes. Leaders are already facing differences from many levels of society. And with every new group that enters into the workforce, there are still the cultural differences such as customs, beliefs, and expectations that are thrown into the mix as well. All of this, as well as many other issues only further complicates the task of achieving effective communication on all levels.
Perhaps the first and most obvious difference in the work environment is the difference of the sexes. Women
Running Head: Effective Communication 2
possess a tendency to be more subtle or convincing rather than shouting out demands. Studies have shown that women are more likely to construct their requests in the form of suggestions or leading questions rather than be more direct (Adult Learner’s Guide, 1999). The conflict is evident if one considers the fact that males possess the complete opposite tendency. Men are often more direct and to the point. These two contrasting attributes are a fertile breeding ground for misunderstandings of all sorts. Women also do not hesitate to mix business with personal talk where men are more anxious to get to the details of the business at hand. For women this seems to be a double edged sword. On the one hand, the personal talk brings down some barriers and lets each one get to know the other so everyone is comfortable. This works in their favor in situations where they are meeting a group or individual for the first time. But on the other hand, after they become acquainted, women have trouble separating their personal feelings and allowing the...
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...py and successful workplace. They must be able to convince others to set their feelings aside and deal with issues at hand and as the workforce becomes more and more diverse, this will become a larger challenge. Today’s leaders must understand that the varying methods needed to communicate are just as diverse as the environment in which they are needed. Not all techniques will apply to all people, but by listening to individuals and hearing what they are truly saying, a true leader will be able to communicate effectively with anyone on their team as well as encourage effective communication throughout their team. Only when this type of communication is obtained can a workplace truly operate without the usual shortcoming and pitfalls that trouble so many of today’s workplace environments
Adult Learner’s Guide, (2nd Edition). (1999).
Adler, Ronald B. & Elmhorst, Jeanne Marquardt (1999). Communication at work: principles and practices for business and the professions, (6th Edition). St. Louis: McGraw-Hill.
Pierce, Jon L. & Newstrom, John W. (1996). The manager’s bookshelf: A mosaic of contemporary views, (4th Edition). New York: HarperCollins College Publishers.
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